Wireless operator Orange is stepping up its assault on the contactless payments market with the imminent launch of an NFC-enabled Samsung handset in key European countries.
The Samsung Wave 578 will be introduced in Spain, Poland and France in the second quarter before a wider European roll out. Orange says LG and Nokia handsets will follow as part of its bid to make over half of all new smartphone models added to its range for Europe optimised for contactless.
Samsung provided Orange with the 'Player One Cityzi' handset used for a recent project to turn the city of Nice in a "contactless city" covering local urban transport, over 1000 shops, loyalty, couponing and tag reading.
In the UK Orange has already outlined plans to work with Barclaycard to launch the UK's first commercial contactless mobile phone payments system this summer.
Anne Bouverot, EVP, mobile services, Orange, says: "We are spearheading the third biggest revolution in the mobile arena, after mobile voice services and the explosion in mobile data. Mobile contactless services will change people's daily lives."